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Redefining Success: The Myth of 'Making It' in Your Creative Journey

Have you ever found yourself chasing the elusive dream of "making it"? Those words can seem like a golden ticket to success, filled with light, warmth, money, and acclaim. But what does "making it" actually mean?

For many years, I chased this dream as an actor. It was the ultimate goal, the pinnacle of success. But then I had a realization: "making it" is a vague concept. It's not a concrete goal, and it often leads to more frustration than fulfillment.

When I first started acting, "making it" meant booking major roles, earning substantial income from my craft, and gaining recognition in the industry. But as I navigated my career, I noticed that this definition kept shifting. Every time I reached a milestone, the bar moved higher. It was like chasing a mirage, always out of reach.

Everyone's definition of "making it" is different. For some, it's booking a solid TV gig. For others, it's selling a certain amount of artwork or becoming a bestselling author. These are all individual metrics, not a universal standard of success. This realization hit me hard. I was striving for a goal that was not only undefined but also unattainable because it kept changing based on external validations and comparisons.

So why do we chase this mythical idea? Because it promises respect, power, money, influence, and admiration. These are all alluring but often vague goals. They sound and feel good, but they are often out of our control. Chasing them can lead to endless frustration and burnout.

Respect is something we crave from our peers, family, and society. We want validation that our work and efforts are valuable. Power gives us a sense of control and the ability to influence decisions. Money provides security and the means to continue pursuing our passions. Influence allows us to inspire and impact others, while admiration fulfills our need for acknowledgment and praise.

These desires are natural and human, but when they become the sole focus, they can derail us from our true creative purpose.

The myth of "making it" suggests that achieving these things will bring us ultimate happiness and fulfillment. But in reality, these are often fleeting and subjective states.

What brings lasting satisfaction is the process itself—the act of creating, the joy of improvement, and the personal milestones we achieve along the way.

Here’s my advice: Instead of chasing the myth of "making it," focus on specific, tangible goals. The next time you admire someone's achievements, stop and identify what exactly you admire about them. Write it down. Make it specific. Is it their consistency? Their unique style? Their ability to connect with an audience? Then, implement that goal into your own career.

For example, if you admire an artist's ability to consistently produce and share their work, set a goal to create and post one new piece of art each week. If you look up to a writer's disciplined approach to their craft, commit to writing a certain number of words daily or weekly. These specific, actionable goals are within your control and can lead to a greater sense of accomplishment and progress.

Moreover, celebrate your milestones, no matter how small they may seem. If you complete a project, share it with your community. If you receive positive feedback, take a moment to appreciate it. Recognize your growth and achievements regularly. This practice can help shift your focus from the nebulous concept of "making it" to appreciating your journey and the tangible steps you’re taking.

We all have different paths and definitions of success. By setting concrete goals, you can find your own version of "making it" and feel more fulfilled in your creative journey. The beauty of being a creative lies in the unique journey each of us takes. Embrace your path, set your own markers of success, and celebrate each step forward.

Remember, the journey is as important as the destination. Stay inspired, keep creating, and redefine what "making it" means for you. It’s not about reaching a mythical land of success; it’s about finding joy and purpose in the process.

🎙️💖 If you like this article, you might like listening to these episodes of The Empowered Creatives Podcast.

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